July 18, 2009 archive

Random Japan

Official business

The National Consumer Affairs Center warned that “germanium bracelets” being marketed as health products online do not, as claimed, “relieve fatigue and smooth blood flow.”

The Financial Services Agency suspended the retail operations of Citibank Japan for 30 days after the US-based bank failed to enact proper anti-money laundering procedures.

The government is said to be mulling the creation of a centrally funded sports agency that would be responsible for “nurturing future top athletes, supporting international competitions and promoting company-sponsored events.”

A 56-year-old cop in Kitakyushu who was busted for DWI told officers that he was on his way back from gambling on boat races and that he had drunk “one bottle of beer and two glasses of shochu” with breakfast.

The finance ministry announced that it will issue a pair of commemorative coins to mark the 20th anniversary of Emperor Akihito assuming the throne. A ¥10,000 coin made of pure gold will feature images of a phoenix and Nijubashi Bridge, while a ¥500 version made of nickel and brass will be stamped with chrysanthemums on the front and back.

Do the “Birthers” Have a Point?

A couple of days ago, there were a number of diaries on the Rec List at Daily Kos gleefully trumpeting the news that the Pentagon had compelled a private military contracting firm to fire an employee Army Reservist who had challenged his military deployment orders on the grounds that Barack Obama had not yet proven that he is a “natural born citizen”. The comments were unanimous in their approval of the Pentagon’s action and derision of the soldier in question and his attorney.

More broadly, the “birther movement” is seen by progressives as a complete joke at best, and at worst a racist, even treasonous bunch of far-right xenophobes who cannot accept the fact that a black man with an African father could actually be elected President of the United States. There is never any acknowledgment of even the remotest possibility that there is any merit whatsoever to the cases being brought about this issue.

Nowhere in the progressive blogosphere have I seen anyone ask in an honest way the question of whether or not the birthers actually have a point. That kind of lack of intellectual interest and curiosity always raises red flags for me. For those who care to explore the merits of the case without screaming like banshees, please follow . . . but remember, “be excellent to each other . . . or else”.

Time to boycott MSNBC

Yes, Rachel Maddow, after giving her network cohort graciousness, took him to task for his racist views.  So what!  Why is Pat Buchanan still given a forum by MSNBC to spout his racism?

It’s time for a boycott…

Overnight Caption Contest

Meta: what brought you to Docudharma?

     I am curious to learn how my fellow Dharma Bums came to learn of Docudharma and why they enjoy participating here. What do you like and dislike about our little dysfunctional family? Where do you originally come from in Blogotopia and how the hell did you end up here.

    I followed Buhdy over here after lurking on that Orange site for a year. At first I lurked, than I got more involved and started writing. Authors like Meteor Blades and Devilstower got me hooked, and I fell in love with the work of Buhdy, Ek and One Pissed Off Liberal, to name a few. I am still a bit of a blog virgin (1st year), but I believe my scope of ideas has grown tremendously over the past few months.

   Ideas. Ideas are why we are here. Otherwise I could just let the TV pre program my multi-media reeducation and drink the cool aid with the rest of the sheep. Not me. I use the term sheep lovingly. Those people are still plugged into the Matrix. I hope that by Yelling Louder I, and together, we, might wake them up.

  So, how did we get unplugged from the matrix, and how do we unplug others?

  By sharing ideas.

  Tell me your ideas. Share. It is how we grow and learn and Progress.

  Why are you here?

  What is your goal, your hope, what would you most wish to achieve in your time here?

  Where are you going?

  And, most importantly, how the hell did we all wind up in this place?

R.I.P. Walter…

CBS Legend Walter Cronkite Dies

“Most Trusted Man in America” Passes Away in New York at 92

Walter Cronkite, who personified television journalism for more than a generation as anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News,” has died Friday night in New York. He was 92.

As Cronkite said on March 6, 1981, concluding his final broadcast as anchorman: “Old anchormen, you see, don’t fade away, they just keep coming back for more. And that’s the way it is.”

NEW LEFT for a NEW ERA – Sharon Smith

From Socialism 2009 in San Francisco (you can also find it at SocialistWorker.org):

Friday Night at 8: A Nickle’s Worth of Visions

fortune teller

We’re headed into the dog days of summer, so no matter how rapidly events seem to appear it doesn’t matter, still have to go sloooooowwwwwww.

I read somewhere in ancient Chinese lore about a soldier, he was a general, I think, some big honcho in the court of the Emperor of the time, with all that power, subject to all that intrigue and anyway, the reign of that particular Emperor ended and the soldier had to flee the palace.  From various oracles and just his own intiution and supposed political genius, he knew someone would come along to restore the dynasty but it would be like 40 years or something until that happened.

So the soldier found a place to go fishing.

When he was in his 70s the young man came along who he was supposed to teach, a young man who would end up being emperor.

Well I may have this story all wrong, but that’s how I remember it, and who’s to say something like that never happened?

Iceland applies for EU membership


Wasting no time acting upon the Althingi vote, Reuters reports Iceland hands in application to join EU.

“The (Icelandic) ambassador to Sweden has met with the secretary of state and has handed in to him the application of accession to the EU,” said Urdur Gunnarsdottir.

Iceland’s formal application letter (pdf) states, “The Government of Iceland has the honour to present hereby, in conformity with Article 49 of the Treaty of European Union, the application of the Republic of Iceland for membership of the European Union.”

Yesterday, Iceland’s parliament, the Althingi, voted to start membership talks with the European Union. The vote was 33-28 with two members abstaining. ForexTV reported the vote was seen as a victory for Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, “who has been pushing for joining the EU and the adoption of the euro as the recession-hit country’s currency.”

Friday Philosophy: Slopes of the Slippery Kind

Here it comes again.

At a time when the country of Pakistan, not what anyone generally conceives of as a bastion of progressive attitude on GLBT rights…Pakistan for %^&$%^’s sake…can have its Supreme Court rule that transfolk should be able to enjoy the same rights under the law as do the so-called normal people, there is a struggle in this country to even admit we are human beings, deserving of the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Or, failing those, at least the use of a bathroom.

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